'A river is public property and we have to conserve the rivers for the sake of our posterity'
The National River Conservation Commission (NRCC) is set to launch a hotline to record complaints on pollution and illegal grabbing of rivers.
NRCC Chairman Dr Muzibur Rahman Howlader made the announcement while addressing at a seminar at Chattogram city on Tuesday.
The Chattogram chapter of Nodi Paribrajak Dal organized the seminar, titled “Navigability crisis of the Karnaphuli and its feeder canals responsible for waterlogging in Chattogram city.”
“We are going to launch a hotline soon. The hotline will record people’s grievances and omplaints regarding the illegal occupation and pollution of rivers,” the NRCC chairman said.
He also lamented that the banks of rivers in the Chattogram region were being illegally grabbed as the authorities concerned were not performing their duties properly.
“A river is public property and we have to conserve the rivers for the sake of our posterity. We want to work on the basis of public private partnerships to protect the rivers,” added the NRCC chairman.
While presenting the keynote paper at the seminar, Prof Dr Manzoorul Kibria identified a number of reasons behind the perennial waterlogging problem in the port city.
“The open spaces used for retaining rainwater or storm water are disappearing fast in the city. Although meant for only liquid waste, the city residents dump solid waste into the drains of the city. The city dwellers should change their behavior patterns. As a result of rampant hill cutting, soil is washed down with rain water and fills drains and nearby water bodies and causes water-stagnation,” said Prof Kibria, adding that there was a lack of coordination among the government agencies concerned for addressing waterlogging, and that the traditional waste management of the city corporation should be modernized.
Noted biodiversity expert Dr Anisuzzaman Khan underscored the importance of assessing the environmental and social impacts before taking up any development project.
The seminar was addressed by local Awami League leader Mofizur Rahman, fulltime NRCC member Md Alauddin, and senior reporter of Ekattor TV Hossain Sohel, among others. Monir Hossain, president of Nodi Paribrajak Dal, was in chair.